First Highway Robbery

Beginning in 1849, California stagecoaches transported more than $100 million in gold from isolated back-woods camps to big-city safes; yet seven years passed before any thief had the nerve to hold up a moving stage. The first stage robbery attempt occurred on August 12, 1856, when the Tom Bell gang, masked and mounted, Continue reading First Highway Robbery

Stage Road Robbery

It is still called Bullion Bend, that stretch of curving old stage road from Placerville to Carson Valley that was bypassed during construction of modern Highway 50. There, in 1864, two Pioneer Line stagecoaches were held up by Confederate sympathizers who said that they needed Comstock Lode silver bullion to finance the Continue reading Stage Road Robbery

Stage Fare $200 in Gold

In June 1907, when stagecoach travel was rapidly being replaced by the railroads, an old, yellowed handbill happened to surface. “Atchison, Kansas to San Francisco, California in 35 days; fare, only $200 in gold” read the heading. Issued by the Atchison and California stagecoach line in 1857, the handbill advertised the line’s Continue reading Stage Fare $200 in Gold